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by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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Linked by Jason Snell

The origins of the spreadsheet

An amazing story by Steven Levy from 1984(!) about the creation of VisiCalc, the first spreadsheet and possibly the first PC “killer app”:

It occurred to him: why not create the spreadsheets on a microcomputer? Why not design a program that would produce on a computer screen a green, glowing ledger, so that the calculations, as well as the final tabulations, would be visible to the person “crunching” the numbers? Why not make an electronic spreadsheet, a word processor for figures?

An amazing bit of history. As Levy points out, “This was so long ago that I had to define what a cursor was!”